Black people have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.
Taking a lesson from the Congressional Black Caucus motto, a diverse group of African-American stakeholders of Baltimore City came together to discuss its needs on Oct. 13. This group – young and old, student and professional, from diverse areas of the city – brought their expertise, experience and energy together to discuss issues the next governor of Maryland should address.
A variety of concerns were raised during the meeting – hosted by the AFRO American Newspapers – many related to getting support for existing organizations that are showing success in the community. There was discussion about K-12 and higher education problems and the difficulties in securing healthy food in the inner city. Jobs, transportation and the impact of the census on the city’s legislative and congressional districts were also reviewed.
The object of the meeting was to draft, in a positive fashion, a statement outlining the issues believed most crucial for African-American voters in the region, which would be presented to the candidates. The goal: to provide Baltimore’s voters with a measure of the candidates to be determined by their response to the requests made of them on the critical issues.
Discussed Oct. 20 on the “Larry Young Radio Show,” on 1010 AM WOLB, the issues in the platform address redistricting, economics, education, criminal justice and health, areas where the Baltimore metropolitan area is struggling. And while the final document is comprehensive, it does not claim to address the full range of concerns or needs of the city.
Called Platform of Baltimore City’s African-American Stakeholders, it represents, not just requests to be made, but also questions to be asked by Black voters, so they can gather the information needed to elect the candidate most likely to positively impact their permanent interests.